Profile On Our Sheriff Eric Williams


by Zachary Stuard

Sheriff Eric Williams

As a young boy, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams was always fascinated by police and detective shows and was always curious anytime he heard sirens. Though this stayed with him throughout adolescence and into young adulthood, he always assumed that he would graduate and work in his family’s business. It was not until his college years that the idea of becoming a law enforcement officer became a very real possibility in his eyes.

During Williams’ time at the University of Southern Indiana he chose to rush Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. It was during his years living in the fraternity house that he came to be very good friends with a young sheriff’s deputy, a past Sig Tau brother himself, who frequently patrolled the area around the Sig Tau fraternity house. This friendship opened the doors to many other friendships in local law enforcement and it was not long before Williams was volunteering at the Sheriff’s Office to see just how much he would enjoy the atmosphere.

Williams thoroughly enjoyed his volunteer time at the Sheriff’s Office and when the opportunity came for him to become a guard in the jail, he jumped at the opportunity. It was during this time that Williams buckled down and committed himself to passing the test required for anyone wishing to become a deputy. This also included having a radial keratotomy to correct his vision to meet the vision requirements of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He continued working the 3rd shift as a jailer until he was finally offered a job as a deputy in 1989.

Sheriff Williams gives much of the credit for his career in law enforcement to the young deputy that encouraged him to dip his feet into the water. That young deputy and fraternity brother of William’s was Brad Ellsworth. Ellsworth and Williams have developed a strong friendship through their years of public service. Upon the completion of Sheriff Ray Hamner’s administration, Ellsworth was strongly encouraged by many of the other deputies to take a run at the sheriff’s office himself. He chose to do so and was rewarded with Sheriff’s title and the ensuing responsibilities.

Upon Ellsworth’s election to the Sheriff’s position it came time for him to appoint a chief deputy to serve directly under himself. Ellsworth’s selection for the position, now Lieutenant Eric Williams. “Brad Ellsworth is largely to credit for my career-path,” Williams said. “The knowledge I gained while serving as Ellsworth’s chief deputy gave me the knowledge and desire to run for the sheriff position once his administration came to a close.”

After months of campaigning Williams rose the victor and newly elected Sheriff, as Ellsworth moved on to serve as the elected U.S. Congressman for Indianan’s 8th district. Williams considers himself extremely blessed to serve Vanderburgh County as the Sheriff, “I am honored that the people of Vanderburgh County trust me to keep them and their families safe at home, at work and where they play.”

Sheriff Williams views his ability to make a difference and positively influence people’s lives as his favorite aspect of the job. As the Sheriff he feels as though he is able to make an exponentially greater difference in the lives of others as he is able to better enable his deputies to make a difference themselves. Williams spoke of this, “ I love having the opportunity to provide the guidance, leadership, tools and opportunities to my deputies that enhance their abilities to make a difference, be it protecting the community, raising awareness, or promoting education and prevention before problems arise.”

Sheriff Williams’s term as Vanderburgh County Sheriff is coming to a close at the end of 2014 and he has many things to be proud of from his many years of dedicated service to the community. His proudest accolades, however, involve the development of his deputies throughout his administration. He is proud of both the deputies hired by himself as well as those that came before his administration. Williams views his employees as a team of highly trained, professional community servants. Williams is also proud of the fact that he has worked diligently to run the Sheriff’s office as just that, a professional public serving Sheriff’s Office.

Though Williams could return to his rank as lieutenant after his administration comes to its end, that prospect his unlikely, though Williams definitely wishes to stay in Evansville. When asked what the future of his career may hold in store he answered that he wasn’t quite sure of that yet, himself. “I am not 100% decided on anything once my term ends. I know that my family and I plan to stay in Evansville, so it is very possible that I will be working in the private sector or in local government in another capacity.” When asked if Williams would pursue the Mayoral position if he lived within city limits he responded, “that would eliminate one of the many factors I am considering now”.

No matter what the future may bring with it for Sheriff Williams, the fact remains that Vanderburgh County has been well represented by Williams for the last eight years. It is highly likely that Williams will be successful in anything he pursues and Vanderburgh County owes him both thanks and good tidings for his future come January 1, 2015.


  1. Though Ellsworth was a good sheriff, he prove to be inept at a higher post. He has landed a cushy job at the expense of his public approval. The skillset of Sheriff does not qualify you for another higher govt. job. The “Peter Principal” applies here.

  2. Although I didn’t like his stance on consolidated government i think Eric Williams has been an outstanding Sheriff.

    Good article CCO.

  3. Like article because it show that he is a self made man.

    Eric Williams should run for Mayor of Evansville because he will be 10 times better then what we presently have.

    • Total load of BS he will be the same old crony style of leadership that has damn near bankrupt this city!

  4. Puke.
    I particularly like how he conveniently left out the fact that he was a COLLEGE REPUBLICAN while at USI. Now he’s a “democrat” – He’s a flip flopper. He also tried to drag our community down into ruin – trying to force consolidation on all of us.

  5. Eric Williams carried the banner, and a whole lot of water, for the consolidation movement, so it is reasonable to assume that the same individuals who bankrolled that movement will be bankrolling Williams if he runs. They are still looking for ways to spread Weinzapfel’s debt load onto the backs of those who live outside of the City of Evansville.


  6. I am not impressed with man. I will not vote for Mr Wedding if he promises to keep Williams/Ellsworth style of management.

  7. I believe Williams could win, but:
    I think this is a good man who should not dirty himself with the Mayoral Robes. Too many dirty dogs have worn them, soiled them and ruined them.

    If he does, he will wind up like Weinzapfel.
    Despised and unwelcome.

    I believe Eric is a smart, talented and charming man, with too much to lose by heading up this crooked little hell-hole called EVV. Good luck to you Eric;
    choose your friends wisely.

    I wish you well, but hope you pass. …

Comments are closed.